Queensland researcher aims to gauge beetroot’s super-food credentials

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock
An Australian study is underway to discover whether beetroot juice could be a new super-food that improves vascular health in older people.

Queensland University of Technology’s Oliver Neubauer is in the process of recruiting healthy seniors to take part in a world-first project by having blood samples taken before and after drinking beetroot juice.

Our study is the first to investigate the immediate effects of beetroot juice on factors affecting vascular health, particularly blood clotting, the body’s immune cells characteristics, blood pressure and inflammatory issues in mature-aged people​,” Dr Neubauer said.

Beetroot juice is naturally rich in nitrate, which elicits anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulative and anti-thrombotic effects in humans, according to recent discoveries.

The research will provide us with important information on the potential for a lifestyle-based intervention involving beetroot juice to prevent some age-associated diseases, preserve the function of blood vessels and promote healthy ageing​.”

Dr Neubauer said he was looking for healthy men and women between 60 and 70 in a normal weight range to visit the university’s laboratories twice over a two-week period to have their blood and heart activities measured and blood collections taken after consuming either nitrate-rich or nitrate-depleted beetroot juice.

He added that while there was some loss of nitrate in washing, peeling and/or cooking beetroots, the health benefits remained high and the same applied to other nitrate-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables.

Beetroots, like all fruit and vegetables, have multiple benefits, but the fact they are rich in nitrates puts them into the ‘super food’ category​,” he said.

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